Nov 23 2014

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Join the Discussion: Sound performances with UNAVERZ at Burning Man 2015

1) Vision

UNAVERZ was born out of the desire to create a mutant vehicle with 1) maximum dance floor space and 2) the best sound system we could afford. She has been to the the playa twice and I think we now can add a new component: 3) interactivity.

Last year we added 16 audio sends and 4 audio returns. We built 3 boxes of 4 sends each into the first deck and two boxes with two sends and two returns into the top deck. Additionally, we added a top deck storage box to hold audio equipment and instruments.

Below are two different videos of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) (as noted by Charles in the comments, these videos are not actually EDM):

The first is style over substance. The second is substance over style. By placing the DJ in the middle of the crowd, what matters is the content, not who is playing.

2) Sound Performances

UNAVERZ has had a number of live performances recently with musicians and singers plugged into the lower deck while performing in front of the truck. I want to push the interactive nature of our performances by encouraging participation. It is great that we get wonderful DJs. It is better when folks collaborate.

With that in mind, whenever possible, I would like UNAVERZ to become an environment of interactive sound experimentation. We should always have at least one live mic on each floor. Our library of instruments should be set up and available for folks to pick them up and join the performance. If we are stopping for any length of time, we should set up a second DJ table on the playa (like in the Boiler Room video above) to enable to DJ to be surrounded by revelers. Next to this playa DJ table should be at least one mic and a number of instruments. I want the DJ table on the truck to stay live and be used by another DJ who wishes to tag team.

3) Management

Mass participation will require management.

Not to be too harsh, but seriously, let’s have some fun with this.

4) Equipment

I want to upgrade our equipment to use a DJM-900NXS and two CDJ-900NXS. We will need a number of mics for the instruments. I would like to have a backup X32 and a number of K1 amps just for safety. We are building custom folded horn subs for under the truck bed.

Additionally, it would be great if we could export our sound to other vehicles who wish to join our party. Smash is developing a wireless solution that will be both high quality and affordable.

UNAVERZ by drone

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1 comment

  1. Charles Vickery

    Really excited to see how this is coming together and really enjoyed reading the article. Just thought I’d point something out when I read this:

    Below are two different videos of Electronic Dance Music (EDM):

    We don’t really play EDM music on UNAVERZ. EDM is that kind of music the Dancetronauts play and that you hear at festivals like Electronic Daisy Carnival in Vegas. Heavy percussive rhythms that are abrasive. You know what I’m talking about.

    I’m not trying to nitpick, but I think it communicates something other than what you intended it to.

    Played Radio Valencia this weekend which is broadcast on pirate radio in the Mission. I’ll send through the podcast when it gets released later this week.

    Hope you’re well!!!

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